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Neil Evans' Tips For Grafton (Monday)

By Neil Evans

Track Good 4 and Rail True so should play fairly even, although late trend away from the fence

Race 1 BM 58 HCP (2200m):

Always an early test with restricted stayers, and tactics and tempo generally play a major role. Going with 9YO Taree gelding 2. Loving Home who gets his chance in a much weaker field than what he's been tackling. Has been well beaten in a string of feature Cups, but often had a tough run, and while he shoots back up to 60.5kg, draws to get a cosy inside run back in the field.

Dangers: Tamworth 6YO gelding 3. House Wins has won his last two narrowly at Gunnedah around this grade, and will run it out, but this looks tougher; while 6YO Pt Macquarie gelding 5. Eerised doesn't win often, but form in deeper races has been consistent enough, and draws to get a nice run on or near the speed.

How to play it: Loving Home to win. Odds and Evens (First 2): Split

Race 2 MAIDEN HCP (1700m):

It's time for 5YO Coffs Harbour gelding and noted finisher 1. Guest to break the duck at his 17th start. Has run 11 placings from 16, always finishing on, and all three runs this prep have been strong through the line from well back. Draws to get cover, and rise in distance an obvious plus.

Dangers: Newcastle 4YO gelding 2. Vegareign has only been fair in four runs back, but draws to get a soft trail, and extra trip also a bonus; while 5YO Ballina mare 3. Lady Grande is close to a win after four runs back this prep.

How to play it: Guest to win. Odds and Evens: Split.

Guest runs third at Grafton on October 1

Race 3 BM 66 HEAT OF THE RISING STAR (1200m):

Competitive race, but keen on 5YO Murwillumbah gelding 3. Without Revenge resuming off a long break and two quiet trials for strong stable. Has had his setbacks since charging home to win his maiden at Ipswich in mid 2018 before repeating the dose in a Class 2 over 1350m same track in December.

Dangers: Pt Macquarie 6YO gelding 4. Gordon's Leap is ready to peak third-up, and did flash home to win a Highway at Randwick last spring. Liked the way local 5YO gelding 9. Midweek Hussler hit the line resuming in a good Class 2, and second-up form is okay. Down 2kg on that run. Another local, 8YO gelding 7. Melted Moments continues to find the line, and will be doing his best work late, but will probably find this a bit short.

How to play it: Without Revenge to win and trifecta 3,4/3,4,9/3,4,7,9. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 4 MAIDEN HCP (1100m):

Progressive 3YO Murwillumbah filly 9. Dreamtime Magic is the one to beat. Hit the line late resuming in a handy maiden at Ipswich, and was good second-up in her first prep on this track in a stronger field. Was scratched from the Sunshine Coast on Sunday.

Dangers: Improving 4YO Armidale mare 7. Lonny Lonny hasn't been far away in all three runs this prep, and draws to get a nice run just off the speed, and is in well at the weights after rider's 3kg claim; while 4YO Ballina mare and first starter 4. Lucky Choice (Choisir x Lucky In Love by Lucky Owners) looks ready for her debut off a nice trial win.

How to play it: Dreamtime Magic to win and quinella 7 and 9. Odds and Evens: Odds

Dreamtime Magic runs third at Ipswich on October 2

Race 5 F & M CL1 HCP (1100m):

Another one from the Matt Dunn stable at Murwillumbah, 4YO 3. One For Betty hasn't started for nine months, but fresh form is sound, and trialled nicely behind the smart Shalwa who won at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Dangers: Gold Coast 4YO and ex-Victorian 2. Shezandi As signed off her last prep with a dominant win on the synthetic at Pakenham, and is forward enough to have an impact at first run in the region, although not well off at the weights with 60kg. Lightly raced local 5YO 5. Savannah Jeune mixed it in some handy maiden company before breaking her maiden in nice style last start. Likes to go forward and park in and around the speed so the start from a wider gate is pivotal. Coffs Harbour 5YO 1. Shirazzle has her fair share of ability. Had more than a year off the scene before returning with a nice closing effort this class at Lismore. On her form early last year, she'd be hard to beat, but has to lump 61.5kg from a wide barrier so this might be too soon.

How to play it: One For Betty to win and box exacta 2,3,5. Odds and Evens: Split.

Race 6 C, G & E CL1 HCP (1100m):

Now the boys' turn over the same trip, and there are plenty of chances headed by 4YO Pt Macquarie gelding 3. Magnalane who finished hard to win his maiden two runs back at Scone before a solid run into a place in a stronger Class 1 at Muswellbrook run in record time. If he holds that form, and can find a spot from a wide draw, he can win.

Dangers: Coffs Harbour 4YO gelding 1. Bondi Boy was strong late in tougher grade at Newcastle before a disappointing effort at Kembla, although there was more depth to that Class 1, and he draws a lovely gate, but the handicapper hasn't missed him up sharply to 62kg. Armidale 5YO gelding 5. Institution has been very consistent on this track all prep, and gets in well at the weights after rider's 3kg claim, but form out of those races isn't overly strong, and he's starting to gain a reputation as a non-winner. Coffs Harbour 3YO gelding 10. Moonhawk won his maiden in comfortable fashion leading second-up on this track, but flopped badly up in trip last start, and would need to get a softer run on speed to be a chance.

How to play it: Magnalane each way and trifecta 1,3,5/1,3,5/1,3,5,10. Odds and Evens: Odds

Race 7 MAIDEN PLATE (1400m):

Wide open race. Coffs Harbour 4YO mare 10. The Actress hasn't been far away this prep, and gets her best draw in some time. Will settle back in the field with cover, and will need plenty of pace on up front, but this looks a real break-through chance at her eighth start, with the blinkers coming off and the winkers going on.

Dangers: Improving 3YO local gelding 11. Flying Euros went around a big price at the Gold Coast at just his second start, but really attacked the line hard. Looks even better served over this longer journey, and just needs to get in from an awkward barrier to be in the finish. Local 4YO gelding 2. Dark Euro is close to a win after just missing in his last two, but drawn off the track in a bigger field. Coffs Harbour 4YO mare 9. Serlina has run six placings from 16, although didn't finish off last start after showing consistent enough form prior to that, although another one who will need some luck from a horror draw; while 3YO Pt Macquarie gelding 12. Graziano also hit the line nicely second-up at big odds at home, and extra trip should suit.

How to play it: The Actress each way and trifecta 2,10,11/2,10,11/2,9,10,11,12. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 8 CL2 HCP (1400m):

Keen on Coffs Harbour 4YO gelding 1. Lose The Snip with the winkers coming off. Was strong through the line behind a nice horse in BM 66 grade last start after winning a Class 1 at home when heavily backed. Up a little in weight, but drawn to get the right trail.

Dangers: Progressive 4YO Murwillumbah stallion 2. Royal Factor was a dominant maiden winner at only previous run on this track, although was only fair at the Gold Coast last start, but trainer has quickly added the blinkers. Another Matt Dunn-trained runner 4YO mare 6. Bling 'n' Bubbles finished off nicely last start at Ballina, and extra ground here a plus, but has to overcome a wide gate; while 5YO Tamworth gelding 8. Kliftee; and 4YO Gold Coast mare 9. The Palms are best of the rest, and can be included in wider exotics.

How to play it: Lose The Snip to win. Odds and Evens: Split.

All the fields, form and replays for Monday's Grafton meeting

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